(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

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JACKSONVILLE, FL-Regency Centers has turned the valves on anoutdoor water conservation initiative at 36 retail propertiesacross the country, installing high-efficiency "smart" irrigationcontrollers. The majority of systems will be installed at itsshopping centers in California, with others being placed inColorado, Oregon, Arizona and Washington.

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"Combined, we anticipate that we'll save more than 42 milliongallons of water per year, which will result in significant costsavings to our company and our tenants," says Mark Peternell, vicepresident of sustainability for Jacksonville-based Regency Centers.He notes that the new irrigation controllers tap local weather datato adjust water amount, timing and duration, thereby reducingover-watering and runoff.

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Savings for Regency Centers, which posted 25% higher FFO of $85million in the third quarter, will be realized not only fromreduced water bills but also by avoiding sewer overcharges andlandscape replacement, reports Peternell. Depending on the successof the pilot program, he says the systems will be expanded to therest of the REIT's 443-property portfolio.

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Water conservation is part of Regency Centers' "greengenuity"initiative to improve environmental performance at existingshopping centers and new developments. The REIT is among 21companies partnering with the US Department of Energy's Net-ZeroCommercial Building Initiative to advance market adoption ofcurrent conservation technologies and show measurable utilitysavings in their buildings, according to a company release.

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Regency Centers' portfolio totals 59 million square feet ofretail in major markets. It has invested more than $3 billion indeveloping nearly 200 shopping centers since 2000.

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